The Tale of the Dragoman
By ERIC ORMSBY
It is all too tempting to describe Bernard Lewis, the distinguished historian of the Islamic world, as venerable. Mr. Lewis, who turns 96 on May 31, seems to possess the aura of the sage. Even his harshest critics have sometimes seen him in this light. After Mr. Lewis published a devastating critique of Edward Said's "Orientalism" in 1982 in the New York Review of Books, the injured author responded with a long, angry letter to the editor that mocked Mr. Lewis's "veneer of omniscient tranquil authority."
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